Date: July 29, 2013
Author: Brad Worrall / The Border Mail

Murray books passport for Junior PLAYERS

ting golf prospect Zach Murray will represent Australia in what is effectively a junior world titles.

The Wodonga teenager has been nominated by Golf Australia as Australia's representative at the Junior PLAYERS Championship at the iconic TPC at Sawgrass in Florida late next month.

The 6500-metre monster is home to the unofficial fifth major for professional golfers — The Players.

It is revered on the world stage, its island green par-3 17th one of the best known holes in golf.

The three-day Junior PLAYERS will involve 78 golfers from across the globe, the tees and pin locations in the same place that the senior tour faced when Tiger Woods won earlier this year.

Murray, 16, took the call from Golf Australia about 7am last Wednesday and is still in a state of shock.

He spent most of Thursday trying to expedite a passport for his first overseas trip and coming to grips with it all.

“I don’t think I can handle the 17th on the Xbox so I don’t know how I’ll go when I’m faced with the real thing,” he said.

“This is a golf course you watch on television and dream of playing, I’m just going to have to make sure I take enough balls to cover losing too many in the water.

“We plan to get there at least two days before so that I have a chance to recover in case I suffer jet-lag, then some practice and we are into it.

“The course is set up exactly the same as the Players on the second, third and fourth days — it won’t be shortened, so it will be about 6500 metres — 500 metres longer than Wodonga.

“It’s long, there is water there and the greens have unbelievable, ridiculous slopes.

“I tend to drive it pretty straight but you need to commit to each shot and be patient on what are pretty narrow fairways — everything I have read suggests it is about keeping it in play.”

The Wodonga Catholic College student, who is part of the Victorian state squad, said the tournament was expected to be under the watchful eye of US college talent scouts.

“It’s a mad panic to get there with passports at the moment and if not I might need to row a boat — I’ll get there somehow,” he said.

“They have told me that there are about 30 to 40 college scouts expected to be there and if I play well enough then there might be an opportunity.

“But I’m thinking I’ll stay in Australia, hopefully get into the Victorian Institute of Sport at the end of school.”